The best thing for being sad,” replied Merlin, beginning to puff and blow, “is to learn something. That’s the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then — to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting. Learning is the only thing for you. Look what a lot of things there are to learn.”
T.H White ‘The Once and Future King’
” I essentially am not in madness/ But mad in craft” Hamlet, Act 3, Scene 4.
When we first meet Hamlet, he is grieving for his murdered father and obsessively seeking the truth about his death in order set in motion his plan to take revenge on his uncle Claudius. (Who, lets not forget has committed fratricide, usurped the throne of Denmark and wasted absolutely no time at all bedding Hamlet’s mother, Queen Gertrude). Naturally, Hamlet is more than a little pissed off about this state of affairs and rallies and rages in solitude against the corrupt and claustrophobic atmosphere in the court, bitterly remarking that something is more that a little ‘rotten’ in the state of Denmark. By turns melancholic, discontented, mercurial, paranoid, indecisive and thoughtful to the point of obsession, Hamlet contemplates death and suicide several times throughout the play. In his attempt to feign madness to disconcert Claudius and the court, we see flashes of his quicksilver humour, showmanship and deeply philosophical nature, until, inevitably the play thunders toward its tragic conclusion. The rest is silence.
This is an interesting read on the nature of Hamlet’s madness and mentions Freud’s theories on Hamlet and the Oedipus complex.
Through this blog, I sincerely hope to start picking my way slowly through the last decade or so of my life, in order to make sense of some of the chaos and upheaval that has taken place in my past. I hope that, by understanding and exploring some of the major turning points in my life so far, it will help me to understand how to deal better with living with depression and to help me to, finally, express all of the feelings and emotions that have been building up inside of me for so long. I have come to believe that, ‘expression is the enemy of depression,’ and this will be my attempt at just that. I’m completely fed up with taking it lying down, so this is my stab at some kind of fight. I will probably make hundreds of mistakes, as I’m completely new to blogging, but I would very much like it to be a learning process as well as a creative and restorative one. I don’t think I will work my way chronologically through the timeline of my life (who knows? It’s an experiment.) Instead I intend to tell my stories (some happy, some extremely sad, and yes, some even funny!) as honestly and truthfully as I possibly can, sometimes in the context of songs, books, plays, art, poems that I have loved and have meant a great deal to me over the years. If it’s relevant and I’m interested in it (I’m interested in most things) then sooner or later it will probably make its way into these pages. I welcome any comments or feedback along the way, this is a completely new, and slightly intimidating, world for me! I hope you can join me on this journey (of sorts) it will be lovely to have you along.